Pondering the year that has been, January becomes the month reserved for goal-setting and new years’ resolutions.

With 2019 still a blur due partly to the speed of life. Partly to festive season celebrations. Now time to consider everything from narrowing waistlines to inflating bank balances has arrived. All up for grabs at this time of year.

This however is not a guide to goal-setting. Rather what to avoid in 2020. Stats show 80% of new year’s resolutions fail. So what to avoid we figure is far more insightful that following the trend. And failing.

NO HOLIDAYS – Many of us bank up holidays for that rainy day. Likewise to receive a financial payout should we ever choose to leave our jobs. The downfall however is tiredness and staleness often leading to decreased productivity. Little wonder we feel so energised after Christmas holidays or a few public holidays. This year make a point of planning regular annual leave. A chance to unwind, reset and re-focus.

PAGES OF GOALS – A wise man once said “more than three goals is no goals at all.” I don’t believe this theory entirely however the essence is gold. When goal-setting for the upcoming year, we suggest starting with the end in mind. If you could write a story in December 2020 on the year that was, how would that story read? Create goals that will make that story a reality for the year ahead.

MEANINGLESS GOALS – Goal-setting that doesn’t align with our passion and purpose often feels empty and meaningless. We quickly realise increasing bank balances and earning more money does not motivate us to action. Likewise copying others goals into our list will also ultimately lead to frustration. This is not a To-Do-List but rather what we desire to achieve in the year ahead. Add some fun, build goal-setting around what fills your energy tank and what you are most passionate about.

SET & FORGET – The ‘set and forget’ principle is a sure way to ensure you are part of the 80% theory. The term ‘SMART Goals’ has been around for decades.

SMART GOALS – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound. All key drivers to goal-setting. Realise  only when your goals remain front-of-mind. This will vary for every individual so think through actions you will take to make this your reality. A daily reminder on your mobile phone. A poster in your office or a sticker on the bathroom mirror? Whatever reminds you of your goals regularly is the right solution for you.

NO MISSION OR PURPOSE – Gaining clarity on what your goals should be is often a challenge. Try creating your very own Purpose or Mission Statement. Generally a single sentence combining your passion and purpose into one meaningful statement. Once done, determining goals to help achieve your purpose statement becomes much easier. Also a great exercise to clarify your interests.

KEEPING GOALS TO YOURSELF – Although extremely daunting for many the challenge is to share your goal-setting with others. Try not to keep your goals to yourself. Accountability increases once you publicly declare your goals to others. Be it family, friends or just close associates.

SAFE GOALS –  “Ultimately goals without planning are just dreams.”  When approaching goals, try to challenge yourself. Set lofty goals that you will delight in by years end. When we play safe, we often under achieve so be courageous and watch yourself grow through the challenges.

“Ultimately goals without planning are just dreams.”

Oh, there is one more thing to avoid in 2020 and that is procrastination. Try goal-setting in January. Avoid the hustle and bustle of life without a clear plan. Once you are happy with your plan just focus on one day at a time. Each day has enough worry of its won without panicking about the future.

Take a watch of John Doerr on setting ‘WHY’ Goals



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